In my opinion, these are exciting times for research, as I explain, or help to explain, in the following:
I believe technology is about to take university education through a perioda of instabilitywhat Andy Grove would call a 10X periodas new educational technology is introduced for the first time since the invention of movable type. This period of instability coincides with a window of global scientific opportunity and global engineering challenge.
Accordingly, I believe that technical universities that want to be important in 2050 should chart a new course now, which I lay out, somewhat telegraphically in a sample mission statement and in a fanciful interview, recorded in 2050.
You can learn a little more about what I'm up to from both the Curriculum Vitae and from the rest of this home page.
In the fall, I lecture in 6.034, Introduction to Artificial Intelligence, a huge class with 300+ students. During the Independent Activities period, I present a lecture titled How To Speak, intended to help people do a better job in lectures, theses defenses, and job talks. This spring, I am teaching 6.xxx, The Human Intelligence Enterprise, a class in which I focus on contributions that visionary thinkers have made toward developing a computational explanation of intelligence of the sort explained in Human Intelligence Enterprise home page.
|I maintain a web site for these books that provides sample chapters, tables of contents, and software.|
Also, I have completed an online version of On to Java.
|I work with people in Architecture Department (buildings, not computers) and the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory on the EWall project, which focuses on new ways to visualize information, making that information easier to comprehend, analyze, and communicate to coworkers. One simple EWall example is the NewsView presentation of the news of the day.|
|Several friends and I started Ascent Technology in 1986 to develop and sell situation-assessment and resource-allocation tools. Ascent's products are used by airlines and airports around the world.|
|Until recently, when I hit the statutory 6-year limit on continuous service, I chaired The Naval Research Advisory Committee, which advises the Chief of Naval Operations and the Chief of Naval Research on technical matters. During my term, NRAC focused on manning and on the concept of an all-electric Navy. One high-impact NRAC study, Reduced Ship Manning, led to the Smart Ship Program. Another, CVX Flexibility/Integrated Electric Power emphasized the need to move toward electric drive on our carriers.|
|In 1997, I chaired Rethinking Artificial Intelligence , a major MIT event focused on the current and future impact of Artificial Intelligence in the commercial world. Speakers from Disney, General Electric, Microsoft, Netscape, several somewhat smaller companies, and the MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, described where AI is going commercially. The conclusions are still highly relevant to understanding the role of AI in business.|